Joseph Grochmal set out to do well while doing good, but he invented a whole new way to do both. Grochmal observed that most mature insurance agencies were stuck at an annual growth rate of less than 1 percent because people buy insurance based on price or convenience--there's nothing really exciting or different about any particular agency.
So Grochmal started North Canaan, Connecticut-based GoodWorks Insurance in 2005. "We created this idea of a charitable contract," he says. "We are making a commitment to give half our profits to charities." In fact, the contract is so well-documented and entrenched in Grochmal's company that he's applied for a business process patent to protect it.
Customers and investors alike have flocked to GoodWorks. Grochmal, 48, projects 2007 sales of $1.8 million and expects 10 percent annual organic growth in his business long-term. He says, "The more customers we have, the more good we can do."